I was watching a TV show recently, one of the cops and crooks things, and the good guys were trying to figure out who dunnit. As soon as a clue led them to a state senator, I knew who the offender would be. It's always the politician. It's so easy to paint just about any part of the government as someone looking out for their own personal interest instead of the welfare of the people they're sworn to serve.
It happens in books also. The leaders in the government are seldom portrayed as anything other than self-serving, arrogant and without ethics or morals. This holds true in most genres of fiction, contemporary, fantasy, scifi or historical and perhaps especially dystopian. Why?
There's probably lots of answers to that but I think today's economical and political climate allows for the easy acceptance to the possible reality of our own government being the cause of all our misery. Corruption and greed make for some great conflicts in a novel. In fantasy, a little magic is usually added to complicate the battle of good citizens versus bad rulers.
So do you see the theme of the government as bad guys in lots and lots of novels and other entertainment media? Do you have a theory as to why it's so widely used as the conflict in fiction?